Squamous Cell Cancer

  • Not as dangerous but may spread if not treated.
  • Spots that develop on the lips or ears have the highest risk of spreading and should be seen by a doctor immediately.
  • Appears as a thickened red, scaly spot that may ulcerate.
  • Grows over some months on skin most often exposed to the sun.


The second most common form of skin cancer Squamous Cell carcinoma(SCC). It may grow much faster than a BCC. SCC’s may occasionally spread throughout the body (metastasize). SCCs usually form a scaly, quickly growing pink lump or wart-like growth, which may also break down, crust, bleed and ulcerate. They do not usually cause pain but may be tender, or cause a burning or stinging sensation. They most commonly occur on areas exposed to a lot of sunlight such as the face, ears, (bald) scalp, lips and backs of the hands.
People who have had organ transplants, or medications to suppress their immune system for other reasons, are at higher risk of developing SCCs. In transplant patients SCCs are also more likely to grow quickly and spread throughout the body. This makes regular skin checks and early treatment of skin cancers extremely important for people who have had transplants or have suppressed immune systems for other reasons.
Early detection allows simple local therapy such as excisional surgery, cryotherapy or electrosurgery. More extensive SCCs may require extensive surgery, lymph node removal and radiotherapy. Follow up post surgery is annually for low risk and every 3 months for 2 years for high risk SCCs.